Northern Spain - Summer 2011

Discussion in 'Europe' started by JBA, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. JBA

    JBA

    Inspired by Pie's post from a couple of years ago Clan Jolly spent the last week of July and first week of August in Northern Spain.
    We camped at Camping El Rosal just outside the town of San Vicente de la Barquera, about an hour west of Santander.


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    We had originally intended to spend 4 or 5 days at El Rosal before moving to a site in the Picos De Europa mountains for a few days and then returning to the coast for the final couple of days of the holiday but it turned out to be a great site in a brilliant location so we stayed there for the duration.
    Camping El Rosal is on a small headland that has the sea on one side and a river estuary on the other. When the tide comes in the estuary fills up and there are beaches on both sides of the camp site. The 'seaside' beach is only 2 or 3 minutes walk from the site entrance and the 'estuary' beach about 4 minutes.


    The seaside beach:
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    The estuary beach:
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    The site itself is a bit of a mixture of large, semi-shaded pitches with ample room for a van & awning and smaller pitches where you can just about fit a van. There is also a nice tiered area for small tents. On site is a nice bar/cafe where they sell really nice food and do great cafe con leche. There is also a small shop attached selling the essentials, including chilled 1l bottles of San Miguel for €2 and Camping Gaz refills for €13 (the one I got in GB before going on hols was £21.40!).
    Across the road from the site is row of shops that contains a small supermarket, a fruit and veg shop, a surf shop and a great bread and cake shop.


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    We spend hours and hours on the beach, swimming, boogie boarding or just lazing and Tomos had a surf lesson one day. He did really well and was standing up and getting some nice rides in no time.


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    art b, Geordie and Lord Congi like this.
  2. JBA

    JBA

    The town of San Vicente De La Barquera was about a 20 minute walk away and has some nice bars, restaurants and tapas bars. We went there 5 or 6 times and enjoyed mooching about the shops, drinking coffee, beer and cider, and eating lovely tapas and ice creams.


    San Vicente across the estuary from the camp site:
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    A few shots taken during the walk in to town:
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    And the view of the camp site from town (it's to the left of the beach):
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    Cantabria is a dairy farming area and there are loads of different cheeses for sale in the shops. However, the only milk generally available is long-life stuff. If you want fresh milk you have to get it from one of the machines located in the towns and at some larger petrol stations.


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    €1.40 gets you a glass bottle which you then fill up from the machine.


    We tried several tapas bars but our favourite was 'El Barquareno'. We had lunch there one day and on Eleri's birthday she requested that we went there again for dinner. The food was excellent and the staff are really friendly and helpful.


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    art b and womball like this.
  3. JBA

    JBA

    One of the highlights of the holiday was a trip up to the Picos De Europa mountains. There is a cable car that takes you to the higher peaks at Fuente De so we decided to head up there one day. Although it's only 50km from San Vicente it took an hour and half as it's a climb from sea level to 1,750m and a lot of it is on a very windy, narrow road. Lots of 2nd and 3rd gear driving. I was worried about cooking Gertie's engine but the high revs needed made for efficient cooling and when we got to the top she was as cool as a cool thing.


    The views on the way up were impressive:


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    By the time we got to the car park for the cable car the cloud had cleared a lot and it was 30ºC.


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    There was quite a queue for the cable car so we bought our tickets and then had a picnic lunch while we waited for our turn. Then it was off to the summit:


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    The views from the top were amazing and although it was so hot there were still patches of snow on the higher slopes.


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    After a look around and yet another coffee we headed back to the cable car for the trip back down:


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    Spot the Gertie:
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    Driving back down the mountain road I couldn't keep the revs up and by the time we got back to the camp site Gertie's engine was very hot (I could still hold the dipstick, but only just). She survived ok though and there haven't been any bad after effects.


    We passed this chap on the way down. Check out his funky footwear:


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  4. JBA

    JBA

    Another nice place we visited was Comillas. It's a little coastal town and appears to be quite affluent judging by some of the houses near the beaches. However, there are some lovely old building near the town centre that have been allowed to deteriorate and are now semi-derelict, like this one:


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    The rest of the town is very nice and we spent a relaxing few hours there.


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    All too soon our holiday was over and it was time to pack up and head back to Santander and the ferry.


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    We had a great time in Spain and will definitely go back again, probably travelling further west so we can see more of the coast and wonderful beaches. In all we drove just over 700 miles (less than a holiday in Cornwall!) and I enjoyed every one of them. :D
     
  5. Birdy

    Birdy Not Child Friendly

    Nice holiday you had there.
     
  6. wow fantastic...inspired me to get my arse in gear thank you ;)
     
  7. JBA

    JBA

    It was a great holiday and we intend to do it again in a couple of years, probably heading further West. :)
     
  8. Stunning pictures :)
     
  9. That was a really great read and I loved your pictures, thanks for posting it all up! ;D
     
  10. JBA

    JBA

    We couldn't wait a couple of years to go back to Northern Spain so today I booked the ferry to/from Santander for the middle 2 weeks of August next year. 8)

    I'm counting the days already!
     
  11. Stunning pics JBA, looks like a great trip, no wonder you want to do it all again! ;D
     
  12. That's a lovely part of Spain, thanks for sharing.
     
  13. Where in England have u travelled from..?
     
  14. I'm all over this! great pics, now looking at ferry cost for October :thumbsup: anyone know what the weather is like that time of year?
     
    Merlin Cat1 likes this.
  15. sunny , but not scorchio...:hattip:
     
    Samwise likes this.
  16. What's it cost for ferry crossing like that and from were to were cheers as thats what we would like to do
     
    Samwise likes this.
  17. If you mean JBA he’s from Newport, South Wales – according to his profile.
     
  18. Merlin Cat1 likes this.
  19. Looks awesome I'd love to do something like that with my girls in mine
     
    Merlin Cat1 likes this.

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